Belfast Telegraph

Two more Orange Order halls are vandalised in attacks

By Deborah McAleese

Two more Orange halls have been vandalised in weekend attacks.

The attacks on the halls in Co Antrim and Co Armagh come just days after an arson attack on Ballytyrone Orange hall in Loughgall and the attempted petrol bombing of Clifton Street Orange hall in Belfast.

In the most recent incident graffiti was painted over the walls of Rasharkin Orange hall in Co Antrim in what police have described as a hate crime.

A number of people are believed to have been involved in the incident which occurred some time on Saturday night or early yesterday morning.

DUP councillor for the area John Finlay demanded that police "do all that they can to apprehend those responsible.

"It seems there are those that are so full of hatred that they cannot leave anything Protestant alone," he said.

Mr Finlay added: "It's time people accepted the right for Orange culture to exist and grow in Rasharkin".

The Orange Order said that Belleek Orange hall near Whitecross was also vandalised at the weekend, with spouting damaged.

Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Drew Nelson, accused those responsible of attempting to provoke loyalists to retaliate ahead of the Twelfth.

"We would appeal in the strongest possible terms for no retaliation whatsoever for any of these attacks," Mr Nelson said.

He added: "We also pledge that all of the damaged halls, including Ballytyrone, will be fully repaired."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph